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Thread: Explaining Russia to Trump

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

    Explaining Russia to Trump

    43 MIN AGO

    Written by
    Frederic B. Hill, Contributor

    Imagine: Before President Trump signed the new sanctions against Russia passed overwhelmingly by Congress, the president (POTUS) sat down with his national security adviser to discuss a little history.

    POTUS was perplexed. Here is a possible conversation.

    No, this is not a real conversation, but a tongue-in-cheek version of what just might have transpired.

    "Tell me," says POTUS. "If Hillary Clinton could try to reset relations with Russia — even though she failed — bad Hillary — why can't I?"

    "Well, Mr. President, Russia under Putin has done a lot of very bad things since relations with the United States went south."

    "Okay, tell me," says POTUS. "When did they start going south? Under Clinton, Bill? (That womanizer, bad person, very bad.)"

    "Well, yes and no," replies the national security adviser. "Both he and Bush the Second, made some mistakes. Clinton tried to help Russia when Yeltsin was the president, but the vodka got Yeltsin, and Clinton and 43 pushed NATO expansion too hard."

    "I knew it," says POTUS. "That NATO's at the root of all our problems with Russia."

    "Ah, not quite, sir. NATO is the most successful alliance in modern times. It has held Western Europe and the United States together for 70 years and prevented the Soviet Union from expanding its communist empire. Even Nixon was against the Soviet Union. It collapsed in 1990-91, you'll recall."

    "I was busy building all those casinos and hotels then.

    I wasn't paying a lot of attention to world affairs. Too many bad, very bad, immigrant workers to deal with."

    The national security adviser then listed provocative actions by Vladimir Putin in the last five years, including his intervention in Ukraine and lack of cooperation on nuclear arms treaties, leading President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to decide they could not work with him.

    And Putin's decision that he couldn't work with them.

    "I knew it. It's all Clinton's fault. That's why I like Putin; he hates Hillary."

    The national security adviser then recounted Russian misdeeds: seizure of Crimea, Russian troops destabilizing Ukraine, Russian bombers flying across the Baltic states. He briefly mentioned Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

    "Gee, that's bad, isn't it," replies POTUS. "During the campaign I was asked about Crimea; I thought it was part of Russia."

    "You did miss that one, Mr. President."

    "Now watch out, mister. I knew what I was doing, even if I wasn't up on all that foreign stuff. My base didn't care about the Russkies. What else should I know about?"

    "Well, you know, don't you, that Putin rigs elections and controls the media, locks up people who challenge him? And some of them get shot or poisoned mysteriously?"

    "Right!" exclaims POTUS. "He told me his poll ratings are in the 80s because he throttles the fake press.

    That's what I need to do."

    The NSC adviser ignores the tangent. "To be honest, sir, you really need a full, clear picture of Russia today. You know it's not really that powerful a country, don't you?"

    "What do you mean? They have all those nuclear weapons," says POTUS.

    "Yes, sir, and that's about all they have. So we need to keep things in perspective. Not let them push us around."

    "And their oil and gas. Putin told me they are the largest producer of oil and gas in the world."

    "Oil, yes, gas, no. We are the largest producer of natural gas, and soon may overtake them in oil. And energy is all they have — accounts for 70 percent of their economy. And with oil prices so stagnant, sanctions do hurt."

    "Hmm," says POTUS.

    "Sir, do you realize that California's economy is larger than Russia's? It's the world's sixth largest, and ..."

    "You mean Jerry Brown has a bigger economy than Vladimir Putin?"

    "You can look at it that way, sir. The gross national product of the state of California is larger than France's, larger than Italy's, larger than India's. And at $2.6 trillion, it's double the size of Russia's. Russia ranks 13th."

    "Wow, I didn't know that," says POTUS. "Democrats — sad, very sad."

    "And what's more, when the Brits quit the EU, California will become the fifth largest economy, after the U.S., China, Japan and Germany."

    "All that wine and cheese and liberals. And Silicon Valley. At least Peter Thiel likes me."

    "Peter Thiel may have founded Pay Pal, but that's not going to win you California."

    "Ah, but my commission will find all those ghosts and illegals, the 5 million who voted for Hillary. We'll find them. What else?" says POTUS.

    "Sir, I need to be candid. There's a lot of people out there, and a lot in Congress, who want to know why you love Putin so much. Is it true his pals, the oligarchs, helped bail out you and Donald Jr. in 2007 - 2008 with a lot of mon..."

    "Very sad, sad, my friend. You're fired."


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  2. #2
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    Mar 2006
    Truly, I need some educating as well.

    What exactly has Russia done? I'm not too sure about Ukraine, but there have been some stories that the CIA actually stirred up the initial trouble in the Ukraine. Given the history of that organization, it's believable. That's the way they operate. They have been doing that in the ME, since the late 50's I know.

    Now has Russia invaded two nations, destroying the country, killing untold numbers of innocents, causing the country to devolve into civil war and strife - making it safe, once again, to produce heroin that is ending up on our streets?

    Can we talk about Libya?

    With the so called 'war on terror', it seems that anyone, anywhere, for any reason, can be named a danger to
    the US.

    Yes, they are involved in Syria - but then our hands are far from clean there. It is in their back yard, after all.

    NATO - Eisenhower, who helped put NATO together didn't seem to think it should be a permanent thing. Also, expanding it all the way to Russia, does seem a little 'provocative', doesn't it?

    Is it just me, but wouldn't it be better to have Russia as a ally, if possible? Must we always have some country to hate or fear?

    After all, we seem to be great good friends of Red China, a truly communist country with a bad record of human rights (what we say matters so much to us)?

    Russia's economy may not be all that great, I don't know, but it seems to be working pretty good.
    At the same time, we have very dangerous debt and racking up more and more, I'm not sure we should give any country lessons on economics.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Senior Member posylady's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    This article might explain why The US politicians don't like Russia anymore. If you read it you might also understand why we are at war with certain countries and they are more or less black listed. Involves the World bank and Rothchilds.

    Judy and nntrixie like this.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2006
    That is something to think about.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2012
    Bowder's testimony paints a dark picture.....

  7. #7
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)
    Businessman Paints Terrifying And Complex Picture Of Putin's Russia
    July 28, 20171:12 PM ET
    MILES PARKS Twitter

    William Browder testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday about Russian President Vladimir Putin's government, including allegations of vast and systematic corruption.

    Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    William Browder knows Vladimir Putin's Russia all too well.
    Browder made a fortune in Russia, in the process uncovering, he says, incredible amounts of fraud and corruption. When he tried to report it to authorities, the government kicked him out of the country and, he alleges, tortured and killed the lawyer he was working with.

    In what one senator called one of the Senate Judiciary Committee's "most important" hearings, Browder, a wealthy businessman-turned-activist-turned Putin-adversary shed a chilling new light on a Russian system of government that operates ruthlessly in the shadows — as Browder described it for lawmakers: a "kleptocracy" sustained by corruption, blackmail, torture and murder with Putin at its center.

    "Effectively the moment that you enter into their world," Browder told senators investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, "you become theirs."

    "No good guys"

    Browder's story — how he ended up living in London, after almost a decade of vast success as a businessman in Moscow, is arguably a case study in how Putin's government works: a system of intermediary influential businessmen who aren't directly employed by the Russian government, but who benefit financially from Putin's regime.

    Browder founded and ran one of the largest investment firms in Russia, Hermitage Capital Management, from 1996-2005.

    When he and his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky discovered a massive corruption scheme, they went to the authorities.

    "And we waited for the good guys to get the bad guys," he told the Senate Judiciary Committee. "It turned out that in Putin's Russia, there are no good guys."


    In Putin's Russia, An 'Adhocracy' Marked By Ambiguity And Plausible Deniability

    After making their complaint, Browder was accused of tax evasion; he alleges the $230 million he thought his business was paying in taxes to the Russian Treasury was misappropriated and funneled to those in power, at once making him a criminal and making Putin's circle richer.
    He was denied access back into the country after an international trip, but Magnitsky wasn't so lucky. Browder told the senators the Russian lawyer was detained by the authorities, denied medical treatment for pancreatitis while he was jailed, and then allegedly beaten to death in 2009 while chained to a prison cell bed.
    Putin has continuously denied the allegations regarding Magnitsky.
    "Investigators concluded that there was no malicious intent, or criminal negligence in Magnitsky's death. It was just a tragedy," Putin said in 2013, in an interview with a Russian television station. "One might think no deaths occur in U.S. prisons."
    Human rights groups, however, have agreed with Browder's telling of events.
    After advocacy by Browder, in 2012, Congress passed the Magnitsky Act. The law targets Russian human rights abusers by freezing their American assets and banning them from entering the U.S. The bill was named after the deceased Russian lawyer who had fought corruption in the country alongside Browder.

    Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer, was tortured and eventually killed after he helped to expose wide-ranging corruption in Russia, businessman William Browder told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

    Putin has spent the last half decade fighting through various methods to undermine and ultimately repeal the eponymous law. In addition, as retaliation for the law, he imposed a policy in Russia — what Browder called "the most sadistic thing he could do" — banning the adoption of sick and disabled Russian children by American families.

    What Really Irritates Vladimir Putin? The Magnitsky Act

    Much of Thursday's hearing was spent getting at the bigger question: Why is the Russian president so fixated on the Magnitsky Act?
    There are two reasons, according to Browder:

    • The first is purely financial. Browder believes Putin is the richest man in the world, with an assortment of assets worth what Browder estimates to be $200 billion at his disposal, but those assets are "held all over the world" including in America. When the accounts of Putin's intermediaries are frozen because of the law, that is in effect, freezing some of Putin's cash flow as well.
    • The second is that the banking sanctions imposed by the law devalue Putin's promises, and so decrease his power. Putin gets his intermediaries to "arrest, kidnap, torture and kill" by promising absolute impunity, Browder said. But the law's sanctions create a tangible consequence. Not only do the sanctions affect violators vis-a-vis their U.S. dealings, but, internationally, other banks abide by a sanctions list put out by the Treasury Department that includes those found to have violated the Magnitsky Act, Browder explained to lawmakers. "As a result, you basically become a financial pariah," he said.

    "This is a war of ideology between rule of law and criminality," Browder also told the senators. "And if we allow all the corrupt money to come here, then it's going to corrupt us until we end up like them."
    Natalia Veselnitskaya has become what Browder called "the point person" for Russia's fight to repeal the law. The Russian attorney has been lobbying against the Magnitsky Act for years, and fighting to discredit Browder.

    Russian Ban On U.S. Adoptions Becomes Embroiled In Trump Controversy


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    She was thrust into the headlines recently when it was revealed she met with Donald Trump Jr. and two other top Trump campaign aides last June to try and sway them toward repealing the law should Trump win the presidency.
    But in a series of emails exchanged to set up the meeting, Trump Jr. was told Veselnitskaya would have incriminating information about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton supplied by the Russian government in an effort to help his father's presidential campaign.
    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the committee's ranking member, asked Browder if the meeting could have been the Russian government's way of offering a "quid pro quo" in exchange for repealing the Magnitsky Act.
    "This was a big ask," Browder said in response — in reference to repealing the U.S. law that essentially imposes global banking sanctions of Russian human rights abusers who are found to have violated it. "They wouldn't have gone in and said 'please can you repeal this for us,' without having something to offer in return."
    Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya have both said no incriminating information about Clinton ended up changing hands in the meeting.
    Putin's endgame
    Browder's testimony also touched on one of the more perplexing aspects of Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election — how Putin and the Russian government view now-President Trump given evidence Russia was gathering incriminating information about both Trump and Clinton at the same time.

    Learn More About The Trump-Russia Imbroglio

    Sen. Lindsey Graham's almost entire line of questioning on Thursday focused on the seeming contradiction in the fact that Russia allegedly has ties to a company behind the controversial and unverified dossier on Trump while Russia was also rooting for Trump to win on Election Day, according to to the emails exchanges with Trump Jr. prior to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

    Russia's Election Meddling Part Of A Long History Of 'Active Measures'

    "Is it common for Russia to play both sides against the middle?" Graham asked.
    "What you need to understand about the Russians is there is no ideology at all," Browder said. "Vladimir Putin is in the business of trying to create chaos everywhere."

    President Trump has, at times, seemed to accept that Russia interfered in last year's election and, at other times, seemed to doubt that Russia was behind things like hacking emails systems and strategically releasing Democratic emails at key points in the 2016 campaign. The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russian intelligence services, acting at Putin's direction, were responsible.
    President Putin has repeatedly denied that the Russian government played any role in interfering in last year's election; he did so most recently during an in-person meeting with Trump on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Germany.
    Trump has also repeatedly denied that he or anyone associated with his campaign colluded with the Russians. On Thursday, the White House used the hearing as further proof President Trump wasn't colluding with the Russians to get himself elected.
    "We learned that the firm that produced (the dossier) was also being paid by the Russians," said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. "This is yet the latest piece of evidence that vindicates what the President has said, that this is a witch hunt and a hoax."


    A Russian Word Americans Need To Know: 'Kompromat'

    Browder explained to lawmakers, however, that it's not really a contradiction or a disconnect at all for Russia to be gathering potentially compromising information on Trump while also reaching out to his campaign to provide assistance and incriminating information about Clinton. That's because Putin's activities always seem to be designed to find leverage over his targets. In some cases, Russia will engage in an illegal activity to help a target and then hold the threat of exposure of that activity over the target's head.
    "They've got you both ways: with the carrot of continued bribery, and the stick of exposure and blackmail if you defect?" asked Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
    "That is how every single one of their relationships work," Browder confirmed. "That's how they grab people and keep them.
    "And once you get stuck in with them, you can never leave."


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  8. #8
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    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    You know, we could just change the names and much of that would fit this country - maybe more, and on a larger scale.

    Look up corruption in the dictionary, and you should see this country.

    As to the adoption, I remember when it was going strong and when it was stopped. These children had many problems, not just physical. For a while, the news was full of people who didn't realize what emotional problems these children had. There were stories of having the home set on fire by them, harm to other children in the family, etc.

    There were a lot of people who were simply unable to deal with this and sent the children back to Russia. One instance, I read about, the family put a child (maybe 9) on a plane back to Russia with just a note explaining why.

    What would Russia gain stopping the adoption? Foreign adoptions cost a lot of money. The burden of caring for sick and emotionally disturbed children on this country, would be on this country now, not Russia. I don't see how it hurt Russia to stop it.

    Russia took tax money and gave it to those in power? Say it isn't so - never happen in this country---------

    Punished those who squealed - anyone remember the IRS being used against the conservative organization? They also used Osha and other government agencies to harass them.

    Then, of course, some have heart attacks, auto accidents, get mugged, etc. Some get met on the tarmac and talked to about their grandchildren.

    Playing both sides against the middle? Never would we do that.

    If this behavior in a foreign country disturbs our lawmakers, how in the world are they turning a blind eye to the same thing in our own country.

    Any outrage that will get expressed by ANY lawmaker is just heinous posturing. They are perpetrating and assisting the very same actions in this country.
    Judy likes this.

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